Tory councillors did nothing effective about the Abbey Wood eyesore for
more than five years. Their Labour counterparts secured nothing but empty
promises following their election in May 2014.
Meanwhile the land owner went broke, the administrators didn’t want to spend any money and Bexley council happily ignored the bad publicity while making up lame excuses about the weather, the vandals and difficulties of enforcing any legal notice. Who assumed the site owner wouldn’t comply without a court order?
The local MP, Teresa Pearce, was always supportive of her constituents but the practical effects remained at zero, until, I can only assume, she decided she had seen too much inactivity and demanded a meeting with Bexley’s Deputy Director of Public Protection. (Is that a stupid title or what?)
Readers who complain that Bexley council doesn’t reply to emails or answer the phone or if they do, don’t return calls, may be interested to know that being an MP does not improve matters. Eventually Bexley offered Teresa a date for yesterday morning. A day they should have known that a member of the Treasury Select Committee was due to meet the Chancellor at one of their regular meetings. Maybe I have a suspicious mind.
However it was George Osborne who got the apology and David Bryce-Smith who got the unwelcome guest. Constituents come first.
The meeting must have gone reasonably well. From a variety of sources I understand that the Bonkers photos weren’t good enough for Bexley council and a man was sent out at your expense to take their own photographs and that instructions have gone out to clean up the site and get rid of all the trip hazards which surround it.
An early morning excursion suggests this must be true. A big skip has appeared in the middle of the site.
Meanwhile another local MP is on the warpath on behalf of his constituents.
James Brokenshire (Old Bexley and Sidcup) has been threatening Southeastern Trains that “their franchise is on borrowed time” if the company doesn’t improve its performance. He's got himself into the News Shopper too. But it’s all hot air. He seems not to know that his government extended the SET franchise to 2018 only a few months ago.
Speaking of the News Shopper. If you get hold of today’s Bexley issue you will see the front page is by Tim McFarlan. It’s a name you won’t see in the News Shopper any more because today is his last day there. He is off to the Daily Mail on line. So good luck to him.
Tim was the only NS reporter who ever bothered to show up at a council meeting since Linda Piper left some years ago. She used to go to them all. As far as I could tell, all other NS reports on Bexley council were regurgitated copies of Bexley’s press releases and you know how honest they are likely to be.